Disney Stock – 9 Obvious Disney References In Video Games
Disney is one of the most, if not the most, recognized brands on the planet. There’s not a single medium in the entertainment industry that doesn’t have some influence or brush with the house of mouse, and that can resoundingly be said about video games.
From as early as the days of the NES, Disney has left their Mickey-shaped mark on the field, and dozens of games have made plenty of references to Walt’s magical empire. From Hidden Mickeys to levels resembling a certain theme park, there are more than a few nods to the studio. Let’s just say that some stand out a little more than others.
9 Rickey The Magician’s Apprentice (Dragon’s Crown)
If this counts as a Hidden Mickey, Vanillaware needs to work a little harder at concealing theirs. There is quite possibly no reference more blatant to Disney than Rickey The Magician’s Apprentice, a friendly NPC met in the labyrinth level of the beautiful Dragon’s Crown.
In a game that already pays tribute to Disney in its art style and fairytale motifs, this one hits the nail right on the head. He even sports a miniature sorcerer hat similar to Mickey’s, and there’s even a Fantasia reference in his hidden dialogue.
8 General Tiger and General Snake (Puppeteer)
This might just be a design choice, but those well-versed in Disney’s animated masterpieces will notice that Generals Tiger and Snake from Puppeteer look more than a little bit familiar. While it might be incredibly easy to compare the entirety of this game to Pinocchio, there’s a distinct resemblance to Shere Khan and Kaa from The Jungle Book.
Tiger has the same expressions, accent, and cheek fur as Shere Khan and Snake has Kaa’s iconic hypnotic eyes. It might not be said aloud, but there’s definitely evidence to support the claim.
7 Too Many To Count (World of Warcraft)
Someone in Azaroth must really love Disney because there are dozens of references to places and characters from the Happiest Place on Earth. Some are as simple as a character wielding a Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts, but then some are literal Warcraft versions of famous faces from Disney.
There are woodland animals that are literally the Winnie the Pooh crew, a blue genie who spouts off one-liners, and a small serpentine dragon that strongly resembles a certain guardian of the Fa family. And the list goes on and on.
6 Hall of Heroes (Bioshock Infinite)
How is it possible to look at the Motorized Patriots in the Hall of Heroes and not think of the robot overlords that make up Disney’s Hall of Presidents? True, they may be demented steampunk variations of George Washington that spout propaganda, but they do slip a bit into that uncanny valley like their real-world inspirations.
While guests at the Magic Kingdom won’t see the father of our country menacing them with a rail gun, the robot presidents that Booker Dewitt faces off do have a familiar pattern of mechanized movement.
5 Growing and Shrinking Mushrooms (Super Mario Series)
It might be a little bit of a stretch but seeing how most people are more familiar with the Disney version of Lewis Carrol’s classic, it probably makes more sense that the mushrooms in Princess Peach’s kingdom take from those seen in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
“One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.” It seems the rules of Wonderland stretch out farther than one might have first thought. There are giant caterpillars here too, after all.
4 Link is a Lost Boy (Zelda Series)
This is mainly seen in Ocarina of Time, but there’s no denying that Shigeru Miyamoto pulled more from Disney’s Peter Pan than anything else. Think about it, he’s dressed all in green, comes from an enchanted place where children never grow up, and partners up with a fairy. Sound familiar?
The only thing missing is an archenemy with a hook for a hand. Come to think of it, seeing Link in a Neverland-inspired setting might make for an impressive entry in the series.
3 Scrooge McDuck’s Move Set (Shovel Knight)
Shovel Knight pulled a lot from the best platformers the NES had to offer, but as for Shovel Knight himself, his move set is nearly identical to that of Scrooge McDuck in Capcom’s Ducktales game.
It’s no exaggeration, not by a longshot. Anyone who’s ever played the original Disney title will be immediately familiar with his movements and springy abilities. He might lack the vast fortune and Scottish accent, but he bounces on that shovel just as Scrooge did on his pogo cane.
2 Joey Drew Studios and Its Characters (Bendy and the Ink Machine)
If Walt Disney suddenly went homicidal and demonic during the production of the Silly Symphonies, the result would likely be Bendy and the Ink Machine. There’s very little that doesn’t take from the early Disney aesthetic, especially the characters and art style.
Bendy and Boris definitely have Mickey and Goofy vibes going on, and the entire black-and-white aesthetic looks like a marginally darker version of Steamboat Willie. Honestly, it might be easier to list the various things that the designers didn’t take from Disney in their visuals.
1 Almost Everything (Cuphead)
Two studios influenced Cuphead’s colorful cartoony world, and that was Fleischer Studios and Walt Disney Pictures. Where most of the game’s tone and stretchy quality comes from the mind of Max Fleisher, many of the characters and designs come directly from Disney.
From the Mickey-inspired attire of Cuphead and Mugman themselves to direct references to artists, animators, and other Disney characters scattered throughout the world, the gloved hand of the magical powerhouse is heavily felt. It’s all right there in glorious technicolor.
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Disney Stock – 9 Obvious Disney References In Video Games
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